Pukui & Elbert - 1986
Mamaka Kaiao - 2003
Lorrin Andrews - 1865
updated: 7/30/2011

ʻ  a   e   i   o   u  

On Andrews' Dictionary
in the Preface to the Hawaiian Dictionary (1957)

The outstanding contributions [to Hawaiian dictionary making] have been those of Lorrin Andrews (1795-1868). His first book, published in 1836, was the basis for his greatly expanded work of 1865. Except for rearrangement according to the English alphabet and a surprising deletion of all Biblical references, the revised Andrews-Parker work of 1922 is nearly the same as the 1865 volume. Apparently only 400 copies of the Andrews-Parker dictionary were printed, of which 100 were given away. Within a year it was unobtainable except occasionally in second-hand stores at a very high price. Because of this, and because so many common words are not listed in the Andrews-Parker dictionary, the present authors were detailed in 1949 to prepare a new work or to revise and expand the old one.

On Andrews' Dictionary
in the Preface to the Hawaiian Dictionary (1971)

In a search for new words, every entry in Lorrin Andrews' A Dictionary of the Hawaiian Language (published in 1865) was scrutinized, and although the remarks to follow are rather critical, we salute the work, and recall that H. W. Williams (see Bibliography) said of the Andrews dictionary: "In 1865, it was the most important work of its kind.... No other Polynesian dialect had received such thorough treatment... [it] remains a noble production."

We are grateful to Andrews, not only for his hard work in compiling his dictionary (perhaps only lexicographers appreciate the labor involved in dictionary making), but also for his attempts to understand the grammar, for his translations of the books of John, Jude, and Proverbs into Hawaiian and of venerable Hawaiian chants (Haui ka Lani, Kualii) into English, and for his critical essay, revealing a fine appreciation of Hawaiian poetry. Upon his shoulders should rest a lei.

Our criticisms are intended only to remind students that Andrews' dictionary must be used with caution, and that not every entry can be accepted. Andrews deserves credit as a great pioneer, but his was an age when grammars followed the classical model. (But why did he not read grammars of Chamisso and of his colleague, W. D. Alexander? They were not bound to the Latin model!) We cannot expect Andrews to have known that the macron might have a dual function—to mark vowel length and in certain words to indicate stress, or that the glottal stop was the second most common consonant of the language. (Andrews groups together as single entries words distinguished only by these important features—for example, puaʻa 'pig' and pūʻāʻā 'sheath'; koi 'urging', koʻi 'adze', and kōī a sliding game.)

A great many of Andrews' entries not previously included in the Pukui-Elbert vocabularies were again discarded. These discards fall into the following categories, for each of which many more examples could be given.

1. Entries beginning with the articles ka (kalawaia) or ke (kealia).

2. Separate words, sometimes garbled or truncated, joined as one: mailuna for mai luna; poelamuku for poʻe ilāimuku; nuawa 'planting' as in ka manu ahai ka nuawa—a well-known poetic phrase that should be written ka manu ʻāhaʻi kanu ʻawa 'bird carrying and planting kava'; kukaluhi for kuʻu ka luhi 'to rest, die'; puekolea for puʻi koloa.

3. Contradictory glosses: ono 'to relish' and—later—'to disrelish'.

4. Incorrect spellings apparently caused by misinterpretations of handwriting: paku for pahū, hoomoana for hoʻomana, pokoke for kokoke, puakai for huakai.

5. Transposed phonemes: pohiwehiwe for pōwehiwehi, ponuhu for pūnohu.

6. Imperfectly understood obscenities: heo, poala, puhi.

7. Entries in which pleasure and sin are equated: puhene 'to giggle' is glossed 'to use lascivious words'.

8. Entries that seem to make little sense: polu 'lion skin', puaakumulau 'wife given away by a husband in gambling'. (We would gloss this 'fertile pig': could Hawaiians have been spoofing the missionary interrogator?)

9. Replacement of vowel + glottal stop + vowel by vowel: pohina for poʻo hina, pohiwi for poʻohiwi, pipi for piʻipiʻi.

10. Glossing a word in a sentence with a gloss defining a different word in the sentence: aheahe is glossed 'hungry' in the sentence (rewritten in Dictionary spelling):

(The stomach is weak with hunger.)

11. Entries having a superfluity of glosses for a single base, as, for mao: carry, separate, quiet, corrupt, gentle, green, blue, a shrub, its blossom, a fish, and a heiau.

After elimination of such patently improper entries from Andrews' dictionary, quite a few apparently acceptable entries remained. Most of them are reduplications, causatives, words referring to flora and fauna, or Biblical terms. Some of the added plant names are doubtful, however, especially in view of Mrs. Pukui's careful checking over the years of some twenty-three hundred plant names with Marie Neal and Edward Handy. All entries from Andrews unknown to us are labeled And.; we cannot be held responsible for their accuracy. And, because we do not know how these words were pronounced, we have not added glottal stops and macrons.

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